Sweet pepper is a thermophilic plant of South American origin that has taken root well in the areas near Moscow. Through long efforts, breeders have long "adapted" this crop to the harsh climate of central Russia and bred a large number of pepper varieties that not only grow well in heated greenhouses, but also bear fruit abundantly in backyards.
The best varieties of pepper for open ground
Before you start growing pepper in your garden, you need to choose the right variety. In harsh climates, early or mid-season peppers are best suited for open ground.
An early ripe pepper variety with good survival rate, ideal for growing in a plot near Moscow. An unpretentious plant is resistant to temperature extremes. With good care, the pepper begins to bear fruit 2 months after the seedlings are transferred to the garden.
Pepper fruits are bright red in color, spherical in shape with thick flesh, suitable for canning and preparing salads. The recommended planting density is no more than 5 bushes per 1 sq. m. A stunted plant does not need a garter.
A productive hybrid of early ripening. Seedlings are planted in the garden at the age of 52-65 days. It is recommended to plant seedlings in the ground by mid-April in order to harvest the first crop in June. Subject to the planting density, no more than 4 plants per 1 sq. m, from this site you can collect up to 10 kg of sweet pepper.
A short plant with very large fruits (up to 300 g), prism-shaped, bright red, needs a garter. The wall thickness of a mature fruit is more than 7 mm.
A productive hybrid of early ripening. Pepper pleases with stable fruiting under unfavorable conditions. After transferring two-month-old seedlings to the garden bed, the first fruits will appear in 40-50 days. This pepper tolerates temperature reduction well. The bushes are not tall, but they need a garter, since fruiting is abundant, and the peppers themselves are very large (up to 350 g). Up to 4 kg of fruits are removed from one bush per season. The plant is compact, the bushes are planted quite densely (at a distance of 40-45 cm).
The mid-season Topolin variety, with good care, will give a bountiful harvest 100 days after the seedlings are transferred to the ground. Productivity - more than 5 kg of pepper per 1 sq. m (with a stocking density of 60x40). Fruits are elongated, cone-shaped, bright red in color. Topolin pepper is suitable for pickling, canning and preparing salads. The plant is not tall (50-55cm), it needs a garter to the trellis - the thin stem does not withstand the weight of the fruit.
The variety is of medium ripeness, grows well and bears fruit in the beds near Moscow. Sowing pepper seeds is carried out at the end of February. In May, plants can be taken outdoors, and at the end of July, the first fruits can be tasted. They are sweet, fleshy and large in this variety. On one low bush at a time, you can remove 6-7 bright red fruits, each of which will weigh from 150 to 250 g.
Gift from Moldova
A mid-early variety of pepper yields a harvest 120 (maximum 140) days after mass germination of seeds. It bears fruit well under unfavorable conditions - up to 5 kg per 1 sq. Fruits are red, smooth, cone-shaped, suitable for canning. The bush is low (up to 50 cm). The plant needs shaping and a garter. During the flowering period, the lower shoots are removed before the first fork. This pepper variety is disease resistant.
Growing pepper seedlings for open ground
A good pepper harvest starts with strong, healthy seeds, from which you need to grow seedlings first. Seeds are sown in February so that the seedlings have time to ripen for open ground. Detailed information on growing pepper seedlings can be found in this video:
Outdoor Pepper Care
After transplanting pepper seedlings, you need to ensure that the young plants take root well. And for further growth and fruiting, it is necessary to create conditions in which a heat-loving plant will give a good harvest in an unfavorable climate. Sweet pepper for open ground in the climate near Moscow requires proper care.
Compliance with temperature conditions
Pepper seedlings develop well and bear fruit at temperatures above 20 degrees.
Attention! The fact that the plants are cold is recognized by the lilac shade on the leaves.
In the open field, you can create an optimal climate using temporary film shelters. Metal arcs are stuck into the ground on both sides of the bed and covered with foil so that a tunnel is formed. In the evening, as soon as the thermometer drops below 15 degrees, the plants are closed. In early June, the shelter can be removed completely.
Watering plants is carried out in the morning or evening. Before flowers appear on the peppers, the seedlings are watered once a week. During the fruiting period, plants need more moisture and are watered every other day.
Advice! After transplanting, the temperature of the water for irrigation should correspond to the temperature of the soil - too cold water can cause rotting of the roots of the pepper.
Before flowering, the plants are fed once - 10 days after transplanting. To do this, you need to prepare the following solution:
Chopped leaves and stems of nettle and plantain in a barrel are mixed with rotted manure and ash is added. The barrel is filled with water. After 5 days, this solution can be used to water the soil around the bushes.
After the appearance of the fruits, a different composition is prepared for feeding the pepper: bird droppings are mixed with cow dung, water is poured and insisted for a week.
Plants are fed every 10 days after flowers appear. Organic fertilizer for pepper can be used throughout the growing season - this will not affect the taste of the fruit.
Pepper diseases, pests and ways to control them
Two problems that can arise when growing peppers outdoors are diseases and insect pests. A vegetable garden on a personal plot limits the gardener in taking timely preventive measures to prevent these misfortunes. Indeed, in greenhouse conditions, it is much easier to plant seedlings in disinfected soil or to protect plants from pests by processing the walls of the greenhouse. On the open ground, an unprotected plant becomes a real bait for insects, and in wet soil, ideal conditions for the reproduction of pathogens.
The causative agent of this disease is a fungus. It enters the plant through the roots. When the pepper is infected, the deciduous vessels are affected, which makes the plant unable to absorb moisture. There are several forms of this disease. With brown verticillosis, the leaves acquire a gray color. With regular watering, the plant almost does not lag behind in growth, but it looks shriveled and drooping. Flowers and ovaries on a sick pepper bush do not form, and the plant dies.
The disease manifests itself 30-40 days after transplanting. The pepper seedling stops growing, shedding flowers and leaves. At the same time, the main stem remains alive and forms new shoots, which soon fall off. In this state, the plant can live for several months, but the infected pepper will no longer bear fruit.
This disease can kill a healthy plant in a few days. A green pepper seedling with a large number of ovaries, when affected by this form of the disease, rapidly sheds its leaves and dries up.
People call this fungal disease "dry spot". Pepper bushes planted in the garden where tomatoes grew last year are especially often infected. The disease is characterized by the appearance of dry brown patches on the leaves, trunks and fruits of the plant. After rain, these spots are covered with a black coating. The plant lags behind in growth, ceases to bloom and bear fruit.
Septoria fungus spreads in rainy weather. Gray-white spots with a rim appear on the plants. On the surface of these spots, you can see frequent black dots - these are the spores of the fungus, which first infects the leaves, and then moves to the trunk and fruits of the pepper.
Control methods and prevention
To prevent the appearance of pepper diseases, prevention is carried out even before sowing the seeds. To do this, they are etched in a disinfectant solution, dried and planted in the treated soil.
Of great importance are the crops that grew in the garden last year. Fungal spores can remain in the soil after other nightshade plants - tomato, eggplant, potato. Root crops, greens and legumes are not subject to fungal contamination. Alternating planting and mulching the soil around the peppers with straw and ash will help prevent disease.
When the first signs of infection (spots, wilting, dropping of leaves and flowers) appear on one plant, it is immediately removed, and the rest of the bushes are treated with fungicides. It is recommended to sprinkle the soil around the plants with ash or sprinkle with a solution of ammonia.
Advice! For planting peppers in open ground, it is recommended to buy those seeds whose varieties are resistant to the most common diseases.
Pepper is one of the insects' favorite foods. Pests affect the leaves, stems and roots of plants, as a result of which they stop growing and die.
Despite the name, the insect feeds not only on melons and gourds. This parasite can be seen on tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, root vegetables and other plants. Aphids do not disdain weeds. Colonies of these insects are located on the underside of the leaf, gradually migrating to the stems and sepals. Leaves and flowers fall off, the affected plant dries quickly.
When aphids appear, the plants are treated with chemicals (fufanon, karbofos, etc.). If the attack of parasites occurred in the stage of flowering or fruit setting in pepper, then it is better to use folk remedies. Spraying pepper with decoctions of fragrant plants will scare away insects from the garden for a long time. For their preparation, use potato or tomato tops, makhorka, garlic, onion skins. Fumigation of plants with tobacco smoke also works effectively. Such processing can be done after each rain - it will not harm the plants, and it will not affect the quality of the fruit. You also need to regularly get rid of weeds.
It is impossible to see this insect with the naked eye. Its appearance is eloquently indicated by the presence of a thin web on the underside of the sheet. The pest feeds on plant sap. The affected leaves turn yellow and fall off, and the mite moves to the stems and stalks. As a result of the attack of a spider mite, the pepper is deformed and soon dies.
To prevent the appearance of spider mites, it is necessary to clear the soil from previous plants before planting. Especially often this pest settles on cucumbers, and if last year this crop grew in place of pepper, it is advisable to treat the soil with fungicides or dig it up with ash. Spider mite larvae winter not only in the soil, therefore it is necessary to completely remove grass, fallen leaves and remains of cultivated plants from the site.
If the infection of the pepper still occurs, then you need to get rid of the heavily affected plants, thoroughly clean the land of weeds and debris, and treat the remaining bushes with a solution of wood ash, infusions of onions and garlic.
Naked slugs live and breed in moist soil. At night they come to the surface and feed on the green mass of plants. The stems and leaves of sweet pepper are severely affected by slugs. This pest is a permanent resident of the areas near Moscow, where all conditions have been created for it - humidity and cool air.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to rid your garden of the invasion of slugs forever. But it is quite realistic to destroy most of them or create conditions on your site that are unsuitable for the life of pests. For this, there are many effective folk ways. Preventive measures to prevent the appearance of slugs on your site should be started at the end of May, when pests begin to be born from eggs in the soil.
- Sprinkle the soil around the plants with spices. Hot peppers, dill, cilantro, or a kitchen set of dry seasonings scare away slugs with their smell. Pests are forced to change their location.
- If slugs are found on your site, you need to make beer traps. To do this, a little beer is poured into a bottle or can and dripped on the site. The neck should be level with the ground. At night, slugs crawl onto the beer smell and, once trapped, can no longer get out to the surface.
- Table salt is effective against naked slugs - when it gets on the body of the parasite, it literally eats away at it. But this method must be used every day, since salt dissolved in the soil becomes harmless to the slug. Every evening, sprinkle the ground around the pepper with a mixture of table salt and ash so that it (the mixture) does not touch the plants.
Outdoor plants need special care. It is necessary to constantly inspect each pepper bush for diseases in order to have time to take the necessary measures. Preventive work consists in thorough preparation of the site for wintering. All foliage, debris, dry plants must be removed - this is an ideal environment for the wintering of pests, fungi and harmful bacteria.
Autumn harvesting will not only help protect future plantings of pepper from diseases, but also facilitate spring work, when sowing, replanting and caring for plants takes most of the time.